Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Season ticket renewals, the Ted Leonsis way

Ted Leonsis, owner of the Washington Capitals is taking a hands on approach around the rink these days. Days after the "trade" of Jaromir Jagr to the Rangers, Leonsis is getting some feedback from the fans, and it's not a glowing endorsement. The trade which actually has the Caps financing part of Jagr's stay in New York City, is not getting a warm reception from the folks that pay for the tickets.

After Sunday's loss to the Philadelphia Flyers, Leonsis reportedly grabbed a fan, Jason Hammer, 20 and threw him to the ground. Hammer, a season ticket holder had been taunting Leonsis with catcalls and waving a sign in front of his box for most of the game. After the game ended, Hammer and Leonsis ended up facing each other in a concourse, at this point the story changes a few times. Some say they yelled at each other, some say that Hammer waved the sign in Leonsis' face. Regardless, as they say push came to shove and the next thing anyone knew, Leonsis had to be restrained by the stadium security detail.

Leonsis has since phoned and apologized to Hammer, for his part Hammer says he has no plans to press charges and figures they'll just forget about the incident. Part of the problem could have been Hammers' name, it's awfully close to Jammer, which is close to Jaromir. One wonders how many times over the last couple years that Leonsis may have wanted to take his approach into the Caps dressing room! One thing is certain, the next meet the owner night could see a drop in attendance.

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